administration of the vexed question of the border, believing that the solution most readily lies in means that may be adopted for the revival of unrestricted commercial and social relations between the people of Kansas and Missouri, and that this may be most easily effected by the construction of the Pacific Railroad.
I shall probably find it necessary for the present that my headquarters should be at some point in the border counties, near the center of that important work, but I intend in a short time to establish them permanently at this city. The delay in doing so will be no longer than may be required to have this end secured. In the mean time your city and its business will be under the personal charge of competent officers. I have the honor further to state that such representations have been made to Major-General Rosecrans that, with the co-operation of Major-General Curtis (which no doubt will be given), will secure your trade with Kansas and New Mexico from interruption.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI, Springfield, Mo., March 2, 1864.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Expeditions sent out for twenty or thirty days have invariably heretofore carried their rations and supplies in the 6-mule wagons. From six to ten days' supplies are often carried on the horses. I believe that a pack-mule train will be a great improvement, and have had the quartermaster procure 500 pack-saddles, which have just arrived here. Parties experienced in this method of transportation say that it is not so available in a rough timbered country as on a prairie, but I shall try the experiment anyway soon. Forage is procured by the district quartermaster by contract at certain prices, or rather at a stipulated price, except in cases of great public necessity, when it is taken and a voucher given, to be valid on proof of loyalty.
Scouts and bodies of troops moving through the country take from those who can spare it forage and subsistence, by their officers, who give a voucher similar to the one above spoken of, specifying the property and amount taken. These vouchers, signed by proper officers, are presented to the quartermaster or commissary of subsistence and adjusted and paid promptly, ordinarily, if proper and the parties are entitled to pay, being loyal. The quartermaster states that fully three-quarters of all vouchers given for grain and forage are paid in cash on presentation, and the same is true of subsistence vouchers. There has been soe delay and trouble in a few cases, arising from some misunderstanding between the quartermaster of the enrolled militia and the U. S. quartermaster.
It would be practicable and advisable to have grain brought to the important points on our main routes, if proposals for so doing had been advertised for and let at the proper season of the year-last summer. In my judgment the scarcity of forage and grain here is entirely owing to the neglect of the proper authorities to provide for